David Llewellyn-Smith quotes Willem Buiter at Citi:
….The main ‘game changers’ in our view are the emerging belief that even the US economy is no longer bullet-proof and that policymakers (in the US and elsewhere) may not be there to come to the rescue of their own economies, let alone the world economy, by propping up asset prices and aggregate demand. It is likely, in our view, that global growth will this year once again underperform (against long-term trends and previous year forecasts). Citi’s latest forecasts are for global growth of 2.5% in 2016 (based on market exchange rates and official statistics) and around 2.2% (adjusted for probable Chinese mismeasurement). But in our view, the risk of a global growth recession (growth below 2%) is high and rising.
…..even though monetary policy is at the point of strongly diminishing returns, it is likely to remain the principal instrument through which authorities in a range of countries will try to boost growth and inflation.
…..In most countries, the hurdles for a major fiscal stimulus remain high.
There are no free lunches: “propping up asset prices and aggregate demand” reduces the severity of recessions but inhibits the recovery, leading to prolonged periods of low growth. The further asset prices are allowed to fall, the stronger the recovery as investors (eventually) snap up ‘cheap’ assets. Maintaining high prices is sometimes necessary, as in 2009, to prevent a 1930s-style collapse of the banking system but we may pay the price for another decade.